February 7, 2021

“What seems to be an obstacle can often be an opportunity to go in a better and more rewarding direction.  We only need to stop complaining and start looking at things with fresh eyes.  At the very worst, problems require us to become smarter, more resourceful and more determined.” – From the book How Successful People Think

Indomitable: (adj.) “Brave, determined, and impossible to defeat or frighten.”

Happy Superbowl Sunday!  As two talented football teams take to the field today in their quest to be Number One, we have the opportunity to think about our own Big Goals and what it takes to reach them when we face long odds and obstacles of all kinds.  Sometimes these obstacles can appear impossible to overcome.  But you cannot give up on your Dream!  You must be committed. You must be UN-stoppable.

Here is a lightly-edited fan favorite post from two years ago that reminds us exactly what it takes to be indomitable.

April 27, 2019

A number of my coaching clients recently have faced some very big challenges in their lives: the death of a parent or close loved one, depression, anxiety, cancer, a parent’s stroke, serious financial hardship, a doubled work load when a colleague quit, sexual harassment, an ex-spouse trying to make their life a living hell, debilitating health challenges, an emotionally devastating court case, miscarriage, the serious illness or death of a beloved pet, and trying to find an affordable place to live closer to their work.

And yet, all of them have remained steadfast in their commitment to their personal Big Goals. How do they do it?  How do they remain strong and continue to carry on in the face of such daunting obstacles?

First and foremost, all of them have a strong faith. Whether they call it God, the Universe, Spirit, etc. – they all believe that a force for good that is bigger than themselves wants to help them triumph.  Faith has sustained me in some of the darkest times when I could not see a light at the end of what seemed to be an endless tunnel.  I went to bed praying for strength and guidance and when I got up the next day, exactly what I needed was always there for me….One step at a time.

Second, they have a friend or family or support group they can lean on. It is easy to feel alone and isolated, believing you are the only one going through hell, especially when you spend time on social media reading about your peers, who seem to all be doing fine.  But you have to be willing to open up with someone you trust and ask for support.  The human Ego resists being vulnerable because it thinks showing weakness will get you killed. In truth, pretending to be OK when you are not will NOT help you overcome a challenge. Asking for support from those you can trust WILL.

Third, they take it one day at a time.  The journey to overcoming all obstacles and reaching a Big Goal often lasts longer than you think it should, but you will eventually get there if you don’t give up.  It’s always too soon to quit.

My friend and I are on a mutual-support journey together right now to losing weight and getting fit.  It’s not easy, believe me.  For me, it’s a matter of wanting to look good and have more energy. The stakes are even higher for my friend’s health and physical comfort. We each broke our weight goal down into specific ACTIVITIES we promised to do each day, and we keep track of them and report in to each other each morning about what we did and didn’t do.  Having a daily accountability partner is one of the best forms of support you can use to help you persevere when the going gets tough.

When the scale doesn’t seem to budge after a long time of staying on track, we remind each other not to fixate on the outcome, but to focus on what we can control – our activities.  We know it is inevitable that doing the right activities MUST produce a result.  The timing isn’t in our control, but having the right mindset and doing what we said we would do IS.

Finally, you must expect the BEST.  When you are in the pit and you can’t see the way out, you can turn away from focusing on your problem and re-focus on your Big Goal. Spend time each day closing your eyes and VISUALIZING in vivid detail what life will be like when you reach it.  Remain unattached to the WHO, WHEN and HOW. Allow God/The Universe to do the planning and provide the guidance you need in the form of brainstorms, new insights, suddenly recalled memories, resources and people you encounter at just the right moment.  Your job is to BELIEVE and EXPECT it will happen, even when you have no idea HOW.

My husband and I suffered a huge financial setback in the Great Recession. We lost our clients, our incomes, two homes and a car.  We had to file bankruptcy and focus on just keeping a roof over our heads and simply getting from one end of the month to the other. My daily focus for five solid years was putting one foot in front of the other, talking it out with friends when I felt down, and asking for specific help when I needed it. With a lot of faith and support, we survived the toughest time either of us had ever faced.  There were days I wanted to give up, but that notion never lasted.  I had too much indomitable spirit to allow any outer circumstances to defeat me.  With the support of friends and our unshakable faith that God would direct our steps, little by little, we found our footing.

After five years of steadily-growing inner strength, faith and hanging on, suddenly, everything turned around for us out of the blue.  Rick’s real estate business rebounded into one of the best years of his long career. At the same time, a single referral from a coaching colleague led me to several clients in the same direct sales company, which began a string of hundreds of client referrals and the greatest financial abundance I have known in my 16 years as a Personal Success Coach.

If you have an indomitable mindset, faith that your Higher Power will actively assist you, a willingness to be vulnerable and ask others for help, and the integrity to do everything you know how to do right now, I promise you, no matter how big the obstacles you face, you WILL overcome them and reach your biggest dreams.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give yourself, a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can gift this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (Feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!) Just email caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com

 

January 24, 2021

“You are where you are today in part because of what you’ve been saying….Words are like seeds.  When you speak something out, you give life to what you’re saying.  If you continue to say it, eventually that can become a reality.” – Joel Osteen

Well, 2021 certainly has started off with a bang, hasn’t it?  Some things bad, some things good.  Much of it out of our individual control. But there are two very crucial things that affect your own success and quality of life that are always under your direct control: your attitude and your words.  How you think and how you convey those thoughts to others can make all the difference in how your future turns out.

Since many of my readers are either direct sales leaders, entrepreneurs or team leaders at their work, I want to share a simple recipe for success in leading a team. Even if you aren’t a boss or team leader, you are undoubtedly part of a team in some area of life – your class, your family, your social circle, volunteer organization or church.  Rarely do we succeed in life all alone.  We need other people – many other people – to help us and we to help them too, as we all strive to reach our Big Goals.

This recipe for success shows us how to adopt the right attitude and – most importantly – how to convey it to others on our team in a way that will inspire, uplift and encourage them to believe in themselves and to want to be their best.

This simple recipe comes from an entertaining little book one of my coaching clients generously gifted me called The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. It’s the story of how a very unhappy marketing manager named George learns how to become a great team leader from the driver and passengers on a bus he is forced to take to work when his car is in the shop.  George’s family life is a shambles, his kids don’t like him and his wife is threatening divorce. And his department team members don’t much like him either. They do the bare minimum and won’t work cohesively as a team. George has just two weeks to pull his marketing team together to create a successful new product launch for his corporate bosses or he will be fired.

This short book is an easy read, but it contains some very practical ideas for nurturing and improving the happiness and effectiveness of our family, personal and business relationships by getting the important people in our lives to want to ride with us on our “Energy Bus.”

We’re the “bus driver” of our Energy Bus and they are our “passengers.”  We can’t MAKE them ride with us, we can only inspire them to want to get on board with our vision and CHOOSE to ride with us. The idea is that when we are all riding on the same bus, moving in the same direction, there’s nothing we cannot accomplish together.

Here is an excerpt from The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon, edited slightly for length:

“Five Ways to Love Your Passengers

“1. Make Time for Them – When you love someone or something, you spend time with them. You nurture your relationship with them. You can’t nurture business relationships sitting at your desk, just as you can’t spend quality time with your spouse if you are watching television. So the key is to come out of your office and get to know your team.  Spend time with them. Get to know them individually. Get to know them as people, not numbers. Just as you would tend to a garden, you need to cultivate your team with love. And while you are with them it is important to be present with them.  Be engaged in the present moment. Don’t be thinking about 10 things you have to do that day or the 10 other people you need to meet with.  Really be with that person and focus your energy on them. They will feel the difference.

“2. Listen to Them – One of the most important factors that determines a high management approval rating is whether the manager listens to the employee.  Does the manager hear what the employee has to say? Does the manager listen to the ideas and needs of the employee?  Your employees and customers just want to be heard, so listen to them and hear them…Empathy is the key….For instance, when you ask someone how they are doing, an easy way to show you are listening is to actually wait for the answer and make eye contact.

“3. Recognize Them – We don’t mean with trophies or some awards dinner.  We want you to make it real personal. Honor them for who they are and what they do. Recognize them as a person as much as a business professional. One leader we know sends each employee a personal birthday card with a handwritten note, not some electronic fake signature but a real note…Another very powerful way to recognize them is to praise them when they are doing things right. The more you recognize them for doing things right, the more they will do things right.

“4. Serve Them – A great leader once said, the higher you get in an organization, the more it is your duty to serve the people below you rather than having the people below serve you. The key is to serve their growth, their future, their career, and their spirits so they enjoy work, life and being on your bus. The more you serve their growth, the more they will help you grow.

“5. Bring Out the Best in Them – We saved this one for last because this is the most important. When you love someone you want the best for them. You want them to be successful and happy. You want to bring out the best in them. Thus the best way any leader can demonstrate their love for their team is to help each person discover their strengths and provide an opportunity for that person to utilize them. When you create a system that provides a way for your people to shine, you not only bring out the best in them, but in the rest of the team and company as well.  If you really want to love your team, help them do what they do best.”

Well, it won’t be much of a spoiler to tell you that George learns to live by this recipe for success and his wife and children begin to feel he loves them and they love him back. And his work team realizes he really cares about them and wants them to succeed and they begin to step up and contribute and shine and create a bang-up marketing presentation and everyone wins!

I believe I generally do follow these precepts with my family and coaching clients, but I know I can always do better. Starting NOW, I am going to re-read these five rules each morning during my personal development time to remind me to make sure they know that I genuinely do love them!

If you will do the same with the team in your life, I can promise that you will see some success miracles unfold for all of you, just like they did for George.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next week off.  Look for your next fresh Cup of Caroll on Sunday February 7. 

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website https://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

Start the year off right and give a friend, colleague or yourself a truly unique gift that can be truly life-changing: a private ONE HOUR “Prosperity Breakthrough” session with me.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no strings attached! To schedule this F*R*E*E* phone coaching session, email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com ASAP, as I book up fast!

January 3, 2021

“We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.” – Steve Maraboli

Happy New Year and WELCOME 2021!  We couldn’t WAIT for 2020 to be over! I think it’s safe to say that 2020 didn’t go the way ANY of us planned or predicted.

Certainly, the world’s problems haven’t magically disappeared with the calendar change. But a new year offers us new hope and a fresh perspective – a chance to reboot our personal goals and ask what we can do to help others reach theirs.

The biggest reason for hope is that we have not one but three new vaccines that should help kick the pandemic’s butt worldwide. And we have a new administration to shake things up in Washington.  Whatever your political bent, I am sure you are rooting for the new administration and Congress to work TOGETHER, to get something substantial done to protect our health and our environment and put our economy back on track!

With so much change and political division still swirling around us, it is important to give yourself time to sit quietly and reflect on your own personal 2020 outcomes before you attempt to move into a fresh new year. Like mine, I am sure your year was a mixture of joy, heartbreak, challenge and triumph. By taking stock of what happened, you can discover important insights and lessons that you can carry into this new year to help you create it to be all that you wish for.

In my 16+ years as a Personal Success Coach, I have been blessed to help nearly 1,000 individual clients reach their Big Goals, so I know what it will take to make your next year a success. Creating your personal goals and manifesting them requires a two-step process and now is the ideal time to begin.

Step One: Complete the Old Year.  You can’t create something NEW in a space that is cluttered with old stuff. You have to truly be finished with the past. So, if you want this next year to be more than just a replay of whatever you experienced last year, you must first complete your old year to make space for your new intentions.

The Reflections Exercise

A great completion process is simply to sit quietly and answer a series questions that make you think deeply about the outcomes of your past year – the good, the bad and the ugly. Answering them honestly will clarify your underlying beliefs, expectations, attitudes and actions that influenced the results you got.

This exercise is designed to help you look objectively at what you did (and didn’t) do that influenced what happened for you last year. Determining accurately what caused your past outcomes helps you to identify NEW ways of thinking and being that will cause you to take NEW actions.  Taking new actions will bring you new results, while continuing on “auto-pilot” inside of the same thought and behavior patterns pretty much guarantees that this year is going to bring you more of the same.

Here are 14 KEY questions to complete your 2020 and set you up for a more fulfilling and prosperous 2021. They will only help you IF you will take the time to actually answer them!  If you are thoughtful and truthful, it should take just 30 minutes or so to journal your answers. And, if this introspection sets you up for a new level of success and happiness in the coming year, isn’t it worth making such a small effort?

Part 1 — Questions for Completing the Old Year

  • What was your biggest accomplishment in 2020?
  • What was your greatest failure or disappointment?
  • What was the greatest lesson you learned?
  • Who did you make a difference for and how?
  • What do you wish you hadn’t wasted your time and energy on?
  • What do you wish you had spent MORE time and effort on?
  • What are you most grateful for regarding last year?

Part 2 — Questions for Creating Your New Year

  • What ONE WORD would you like to have as your theme in 2021?
  • What would you feel most happy and fulfilled about accomplishing?
  • What new skill would you most like to learn or master and why?
  • What are you most committed to changing/improving in your work?
  • What are you most committed to changing/improving about yourself?
  • What is ONE positive habit you are committed to instilling this year?
  • What brings you the most joy and how will you make room for more of that in 2021?

NEXT WEEK We will do STEP TWO: Create Your Year Your Way. I will share with you my all-time favorite method for co-creating your new year with God/the Universe to be all that you would like it to be.  It’s a great adjunct to the Reflections Exercise. I have loved doing it for myself every January for the past 16 years and I know you will too!

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at https://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give yourself (or someone you care about) a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation!  

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.  I have a limited number of free session slots available, so don’t delay!

December 20, 2020

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall

The global pandemic and all the political strife that has grown up around it have been the spark for rekindling our awareness of how interconnected we all truly are.  One of the most unexpected blessings of this very challenging year has been my increased awareness of how MANY people regularly go out of their way to be kind, generous and helpful….not just to their friends and neighbors, but also to complete strangers.

My annual Pay It Forward Challenge, where I ask my clients and blog readers to do at least one random act of kindness for someone during the Holiday Season, as a way of demonstrating our gratitude for our own blessings, has taken on special meaning for me this year.  I notice little acts of kindness every day by people all around me, in the grocery store, my neighborhood and Starbucks – everywhere I go.

The past several blogs have detailed many Pay It Forward acts of Gratitude-in-Action that my readers have shared with me so I can pass them along to you, in hopes they will inspire you to come up with your own personal ideas for “the kind of difference you want to make.”

As we wrap up the 2020 Pay It Forward Challenge with this blog, I wanted to share a few more stories, as well as the divine timing of an article I read just today in the Los Angeles Times about a Facebook Group that is dedicated to doing random acts of kindness (usually anonymously) year-round.  The group is called “Sparks of Kindness” and you can join it, as I just did.  The readers share their acts of kindness in the forum, giving each other ideas of small, fun, inexpensive ways they can make a difference in the world around them.

Since it was launched several years ago, Sparks of Kindness has grown to over 5,000 online members in about 40 countries, according to the founder, Debbie McFarland.  She is a photographer from Georgia who founded the group because she “found that there’s so many people that want to do good – they just don’t really know how to start.Sparks of Kindness has lists of ideas for “sparks,” or small acts people can do to brighten someone’s day and spread hope, love and joy around any time of the year.

Debbie launched the group several years ago, but interest has picked up a lot this year. “During this pandemic,” she says, “I think people are starting to realize that…every person you come into contact with is fighting some kind of battle, whether it’s appointments or unmet expectations of others or health or bullying….Everyone’s facing a battle, and if you can get one tiny spark to ignite hope within them, then it does something within them.”

Some ideas the Sparks of Kindness group members have shared are similar to what my blog readers have done, such as taking soup and biscuits to a sick mother, giving someone ahead in line $20 when his debit card didn’t go through and taking flowers to someone who could use cheering up.  Some very creative ones from other members that I particularly love include:

  • Leaving a ziplock bag of pennies next to a fountain with a note that said, “Take a penny. Make a wish! Hope your dreams come true!” 
  • Leaving a tin of cookies on the running board of an ambulance outside a nursing home with a note to the EMTs that said, “You’re AMAZING! Yes, You!”
  • Leaving snacks and water on the porch for the mail carrier and delivery drivers who are running around so fast right now, they rarely have time for a break.
  • Leaving notes in stores for others to find, such as “You’re beautiful just the way you are” in the cosmetics aisle or “This too, shall pass, hang in there” in the cold and flu remedy aisle.
  • My personal favorite listed in the L.A. Times article was someone who left a ziplock bag of quarters at the laundromat for anyone who needed change. It was a godsend for a young mother who put her toddler’s comforter in the washer, only to discover she didn’t have any money for the dryer.  After she went on the Sparks of Kindness Facebook page to post her thanks, a member bought her a new dryer.

Here are the final ones from our own Cup of Caroll readers, that are equally heartfelt gestures of generosity, love and kindness:

  • One of my clients who has really taken on the Pay It Forward Challenge in a big way just sent me this text: “I’m getting ready to deliver a homemade Mexican dinner with homemade Mexican chocolate sugar cookies to a friend and her family who’ve been quarantined;  Christmas Gifts for 2 Angel Tree kids who wouldn’t get presents otherwise; 3 products that a client wasn’t able to order due to them being out of stock (I had 3 extra for sample packets…he’s getting them at a discount!), and stopping by another friend’s place of business for his Christmas Customer Appreciation get-together. I feel very happy that I am making a difference in at least four families’ lives.  Oh, and one of the Angel Tree gifts I picked up, wrapped, and am delivering is for another friend who is totally swamped with her own business and family stuff going on.  It feels sooooo good to give!!”
  • A client told me about a kind deed she did for a long stretch of time after her direct sales upline leader’s loved one passed away. My client wrote her a short snail-mail note once a week for three months, simply expressing love and support and assuring her that she was not forgotten in her grief. The leader just recently replied with a note that said, “You will never know how much it meant to me.”
  • The teacher I wrote about in the last blog who taught her students about complete sentences by having them write three a day in their Gratitude Journals that start with “I am grateful for…” also had them write about “One thing I want to STOP doing after 2020 is…” and “One thing I want to START doing in 2021 is….”
  • Although we have plenty of money to buy presents, my wonderful husband Rick and I decided that this special Christmas, we will put that money toward worthy causes instead of stuff. We wrote Christmas cards to all our friends and family members, asking them to designate a charity they would like us to donate to in their name. They all loved the idea. In fact, I have never gotten such enthusiastic thanks for any gifts I have given them before!

As I said in the blog, a nice side benefit to the warmth you feel when you help someone else is that the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) dictates that YOU will also be blessed whenever you do good for others.  True to form, I just received surprise gift card for our favorite supermarket from a friend and former client. The amount was exactly what I will be spending for our family’s Christmas feast that I recently ordered from there.

I send you and your loved ones heartfelt wishes for joy, health and prosperity for the rest of the Holidays and on into the New Year!  Next time, we will lay the groundwork for what needs to be emotionally and mentally completed for 2020 and begin to create a MUCH better 2021 for all of us!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking the next week end off.  Merry Christmas and look for your next Cup of Caroll on Sunday January 3, 2021. 

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

To schedule a F*R*E*E* “Jumpstart Your Success” 60 minute phone coaching session that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

November 15, 2020

“There are two kinds of gratitude: The sudden kind we feel for what we receive, and the larger kind we feel for what we give.” – Edward Arlington Robinson

It would be a gross understatement to say that 2020 has been a challenging year and a huge disappointment for most of us. January 2020 started out with high hopes and then disaster struck just when we were getting started on manifesting our Big Goals.

Our personal challenges may be related to career, finances, politics, health, family relationships or the loss of a loved one. And then there is the once-in-a-century, ongoing challenge of trying to live inside of a world-wide pandemic that has upended all sense of “normal” during every season of this year. Nevertheless, there have also been many, many inspiring stories of people using their gifts, skills and resources to help friends and strangers cope in ways large and small.

Now, at last, the season of “gratitude,” “peace” and “goodwill” is upon us – the season when most people make an extra effort to be kind and generous toward their fellow humans.  Even though it won’t look like Holiday Seasons past, it can still be a time of rekindled hope, love and reconciliation that we all need so much. Maybe one day, this season of goodwill will last all year long, but for now, we will take what we can get!

For the past several years, from Thanksgiving through the end of the year, I have used this blog to invite my wonderful readers to make life a little brighter, happier and easier for others with a “Pay-It-Forward Challenge.” It has never been more needed than right now. So, I hope that YOU will participate this year, too!  I love hearing about the many creative ways my readers find to help someone else, show them that they matter to you, or simply brighten their day and put a smile on their face.

I got the idea for this annual Pay It Forward Challenge when I was at Starbucks during Thanksgiving week several years ago. A stranger ahead of me paid $5.00 toward my purchase, which turned my frazzled, grumpy day around and put a smile on my face that never went away through the rest of the year.  That simple act of generous kindness inspired me to buy a bunch of $5.00 gift cards and begin giving them out every few days to the baristas at the register to bestow on random people in the line behind me.

I plan to purchase more gift cards this week and give them away randomly at Starbucks through the end of the year.  I trust that most of those surprised strangers will also pay it forward to make someone else feel special and cared about. Last year, the baristas told me that there were a number of customers doing the same thing, creating a big old warm chain of goodwill and gratitude, one cup at a time!

You can experience the joy of spreading around some “Holiday Spirit” in your own creative ways.  Your kindness and thoughtfulness don’t have to cost anything.  Here are few examples my readers came up with in years past:

  • Let someone who appears to be in a hurry go ahead of you in the checkout line. I promise they will beam at you!
  • Help a harried friend or colleague run an errand, or babysit their kids while they do.
  • Surprise your friends, family and clients with a snail-mailed or emailed Thanksgiving card this year! Few people think to send them, but this gesture says, “I am so grateful for you!” to friends and customers like nothing else can.
  • Send an individual email to one or more of your closest colleagues that says what you appreciate about them and why you are grateful to have them on your team. This will make their day.
  • Use your musical, baking or crafting talents to spread cheer and delight to children, neighbors, elderly folks and the sick.
  • Help an older person or someone who is under the weather put up their holiday decorations or haul home their Christmas tree, or offer to do some service to lighten their load, such as mowing their lawn, buying their groceries for them or running another errand.
  • Donate some lightly-used warm clothing, school supplies or blankets to an organization that serves the homeless or low-income families.
  • Donate money, food, towels, blankets or pet supplies to an organization that helps loving pets that are patiently waiting for their forever homes.
  • Surprise someone who lives alone with a tin of tea and a plate of homemade holiday treats. Better yet, sit down and listen to them (socially distanced, of course) while you enjoy the goodies together.
  • Donate blood! One of my clients recently showed up to donate and the nurse asked if she would stay an extra 2 hours to give plasma, which was desperately needed for three children waiting for it.  It interfered with the plans she had for her day, but it also made her day.

If you are able, pay your own financial blessings forward by spreading the prosperity around a bit.  Here are just a few ideas:

  • Surprise a friend on a tight budget with a supermarket gift card that will make their Holiday feast much brighter.
  • At the gas station, if you notice someone in an old car with kids in the back, surprise her by paying for a full tank of gas.
  • Astonish a homeless person by handing them a $20 supermarket gift card instead of spare change.
  • Contribute a little extra to your favorite charity or cause. I like to support grassroots animal rescue organizations that are operating on a shoestring. $25 means far more to them than it does to the big animal welfare organizations, although I try to donate as much as I can to those, too.
  • Take the opportunity to donate to the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other relief organizations that are struggling to fill the needs of millions whose lives have been upended by natural disasters or homelessness.

It’s easy to fall into despair and think “What difference can I make in the face of all that seems so wrong and tragic in the world?”  But as this week’s quote reminds us, we can demonstrate sincere gratitude for our many blessings through small acts of giving to others.  And if each of us makes it our mission to touch just ONE life in this way, we can start a tidal way of Gratitude, Kindness and Giving that just might spread a little joyous Holiday Spirit far beyond the end of this year.

Please email me your own 2020 Pay It Forward Challenge story to caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com!  I will collect them and share them in a future blog to inspire others to do more of the same. 

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top. 

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

November 8, 2020

“Blessings can come in a number of ways.  The Lord doesn’t give you what you want; the Lord gives you what you need.” – Eric Davis

In addition to our ongoing worldwide pandemic, concern about the economy, a US election like no other and the passing of my only sibling, I have had one other life-changing challenge to deal with over the past two months or so.  I am only now catching my breath enough to share the story with you.

The reason I want to share my personal trial and transformation with you is that I believe, as with virtually all big life challenges, there are blessings and valuable lessons in them for us.  Whether you have faced my particular type of challenge or not, I am sure you will agree that the take-aways I got apply in your life, too.  And, hopefully, if we remember these lessons, we will grow and prosper from them.

At the beginning of October, my wonderful husband Rick went into the hospital for a back operation to correct spinal stenosis that had been pinching nerves to his legs and making it more and more painful for him to stand and walk.

Alas, due to COVID-19, the surgeon and hospital weren’t taking non-emergency patients for months before and by then he was in a lot of pain, so we were both happy he was going to finally get relief.  The surgeon and his staff told Rick that, while he couldn’t bend over or twist his torso or pick up anything heavy for at least three months, he could likely expect to be back to pretty normal activities like driving and walking within perhaps a couple of weeks.

The operation went smoothly with no complications or infections, for which we were very grateful.  But we were both shocked at how weak he was.  He could barely stand and walk a few steps with the help of the hospital’s physical and occupational therapists that worked with him several times a day for four days.  When he was ready for discharge, instead of taking him home, I had to admit him to a rehab center where he stayed for another 10 days, working to get strong enough to use a walker.

Finally, he was more than ready to come home with his walker and a plethora of gadgets to help him get around, pick up things and put on his socks and shoes without bending over. But  his legs were still pretty weak and I had to help him do just about everything, including personal hygiene and getting into and out of bed several times a night.

I was exhausted within a few days and my own daily routine was completely out the window.  I could barely keep up with the needs of my daily private coaching clients and all the members in an online course I am teaching, let alone reliably get in a daily shower or daily walk.

On top of that, not realizing how much of my time and attention Rick’s recovery was going to require, I had signed up for not one but TWO intensive and expensive online courses, and I was rapidly falling behind at watching the videos and doing the work that was supposed to help me deliver great courses and sign on more wonderful coaching clients.

Never having children nor being a hands-on caregiver for elderly parents, I had never before had to deal with anything like this.  I felt drained, like I was constantly behind, never doing enough for Rick or my clients or myself.  I am used to helping my clients learn to effectively balance their busy lives with family, work, side businesses and self-care and now I was feeling like a complete loser at it myself, letting myself and everyone down who was counting on me.

Fortunately, I have many years of mindset and personal development work under my belt, and a rock-solid faith in God’s daily guidance and help.  My morning practices of inspirational reading, gratitude journaling and then praying and reciting positive affirmations while taking my daily exercise walk provided a foundation of sanity and helped me to eventually recognize this challenge held many blessings, too.

Rick has come a long way in the past three weeks or so. By faithfully doing the strengthening exercises his home PT has given him and walking around the house as much as he can, he has become self-sufficient on his walker and taking care of most of his own self-care needs like dressing himself.  He is back to work at his home desk, serving his real estate clients, with the invaluable help of his colleagues who kindly take them on home tours for him.

I continue to expand my repertoire of skills daily, doing chores and errands that Rick has always done, like fixing three meals a day, grocery shopping, getting the car washed and filled up, and taking care of our two dogs by myself. These responsibilities require many extra hours in my week, but it is satisfying whenever I find a way to get them done “between the cracks” of my daily coaching schedule. I recently stepped WAY out of my comfort zone when I successfully installed grab bars in two bathrooms and put together a new office chair for Rick!

As I learned to release the negative emotions of overwhelm, fear, guilt, resentment and self-pity that have confronted me over these past weeks, I became much more aware of the GOOD things that have emerged from this experience. Here are the most important Life Lessons I have learned so far:

1) We must have empathy for others.  I know first-hand now what life must be like for my clients and friends who are struggling daily to do right by their children, day jobs, side-jobs, ill or elderly family members, etc. All of my judgment of others has evaporated. I can see it’s not always possible to “just do it,” even when you have good planning skills and a strong work ethic.

2) Accept your limits.  I really had to come to terms with the fact that there was no way I could get EVERYTHING done that I wanted to do. I learned to prioritize what was MOST important for Rick and me each day, even if work or other things had to be postponed or done to less than perfectionist standards.  We cannot do it ALL, but we can commit to do the BEST we can at the tasks we truly MUST do, within the time limits we have to work with, and be OK with it.

3) We are all stronger than we know. Before Rick’s operation side-lined him, I had not been grocery shopping or cooked a family dinner in YEARS, let alone assembled furniture! On days when I thought, “I just cannot do this,” I reminded myself that it was not MY strength alone that would carry me.  I leaned on my faith and somehow, whatever I had to do got done.

4) Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Many health care professionals, friends, clients and family members have graciously assisted Rick and me every step of the way.  They have been happy to do things I couldn’t or help in ways I wasn’t qualified to. All we had to do was ASK.

5) Take it one day, one hour at a time.  I have learned not to worry about next week, let alone next month.  I just focus on today and maybe what I will need to do tomorrow, and everything just falls into place, minute by minute, hour by hour.  Worrying about the future wastes precious time and energy that could be put to better use getting things done TODAY.  And I now take time to celebrate the small victories like cooking a good dinner or getting caught up on my studies or reviewing my clients’ assignments. Giving yourself regular pats on the back keeps you motivated!

Finally, I would say my BIGGEST personal blessing and lesson that has come out of this difficult time is a deeper appreciation for my wonderful husband’s contributions to our life together.  I have always been grateful for what he does (especially his daily meal planning, shopping and gourmet cooking!)

But I now truly realize how MANY big and little things Rick does quietly behind the scenes every day to make life better for me and our four-footed “kids,” without ever demanding praise or gratitude.  Now that I truly understand how MUCH he does, it makes me want to do even more to show my love and gratitude to him. This experience has brought us closer than ever and made us both more grateful for all of God’s blessings in our lives, not the least of which are our supportive clients, friends and family.

If you would like your own F.R.E.E. subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.  Your information will never be shared with anyone.

****************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

To schedule a no-obligation F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help you clarify your Big Goals and get into ACTION on making them a reality, email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

September 20, 2020

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

I am so sorry to have had to skip the blog last week. My deepest thanks to you who took the time to extend your kind condolences and emotional support about the passing of my brother.

I had some serious topic options planned for my next blog, but at this moment, when the world of politics seems to be going a little extra crazy and we are all just trying to cope as best we can with our daily “new normal” routines, I decided to write instead about something fun, an escape from reality — but an escape with useful lessons and a purpose.  Let me explain.

This summer, without Disneyland or our favorite “dinner and a movie” date nights to entertain us, Rick and I enjoyed our own film and television festival at home.  My ultimate escape show is Survivor and all 40 seasons are available for streaming on CBS! Over the years, I’ve seen about half of the 13-episode seasons, but it was a whole NEW experience consuming a whole season every couple of weeks.

I enjoyed the mental and emotional escape of living (virtually) on a literal “desert island” with some of my fan favorite “Castaways,” (Boston Rob, Tyson, Rupert, John Cochran and Queen Sandra, to name but a few). But I was surprised to discover that by watching a whole season unfold quickly, and then watching some of the same players compete in multiple seasons, I could discern patterns in the game that taught me some valuable lessons about what makes someone a “Winner” in pursuing any Big Goal. (The goal of the show contestants, of course, is to be voted the Sole Survivor and awarded $1 million dollars at the end by those who had been their opponents, acknowledging that they were the BEST at “Outwitting, Outplaying and Outlasting” 19 other competitors.)

Here are five major Success Lessons I gleaned from watching Survivor. I think you, too, will find them useful to remember as you pursue any Big Goal in business, finance, relationship, health, sports – whatever you REALLY want to achieve — particularly if your goal seems daunting or far-fetched.

LESSON #1: Do You.

Be yourself.  Don’t play someone else’s game.  Use your own unique strengths and passions to excel.  The challenges that all 20 Survivors must compete in are purposely varied, so that nobody has an advantage in every one.  Some challenges call for physical strength, some call for persistence and physical endurance. Some require balance and dexterity. And some involve mental acuity (like solving puzzles – NOT my strength!) In some seasons, smaller, less coordinated and downright “geeky” players have triumphed, both through the challenges and through playing a great “Social Game.”  You don’t have to match someone else’s strengths to win; you just have to play to your own.

LESSON #2: Build Alliances

The game of Survivor mirrors real life in the sense that nobody wins the game all by themselves.  The only way to make it to the end is to team up with other players in “alliances,” supporting and protecting each other and banding together to vote other people off.  Survivor proves that multiple heads ARE better than one and someone needs to have your back if you want to reach the top.  Winners in the game and in life seek out people they trust and nurture those relationships built on mutual respect and reward. In Survivor “trust” is never absolute, but that also highlights the fact that you can’t get what you really want without taking some RISKS.  You have to go out on a limb and trust others and your own gut in order to succeed.

LESSON #3: Maintain Your Integrity

Even though some deception is required to win Survivor (like keeping your Hidden Immunity Idol to yourself), those players who regularly backstab and betray the trust of their alliances almost never win the game.  They may get to the “final three,” but the jury of their peers who became collateral damage along the way invariably award the $1 Million prize to a competitor who played smart, but with a decent amount of integrity and no personal vindictiveness.  Fans may find evil-doers entertaining, but they rarely win the game of Survivor or life. (Just ask Russell Hantz, one of the Survivor “Villains” who played three times, each time, lying, conniving and betraying others — and lost each time. He ended up angry, divorced and with a mess of personal problems later, too.)  Win-At-All-Costs is not a formula for success in life OR showbusiness.

LESSON #4: Be flexible

As you begin pursuing your Big Goal, you will rarely know the “How” that will eventually lead you to success. Life takes twists and turns along the way and you must be flexible and always ready to seize serendipitous opportunities when they appear.  Survivor winners are all great at pivoting. Sometimes they must switch alliances in mid-stream when their allies are voted off.  They don’t fight reality; they go with the flow and deal with what’s so, not what they WISH were true.  You can’t be attached to your Ego’s plan when God/The Universe suddenly presents you with a “Hidden Immunity Idol” or chance to make a “Big Move.”  You have to just grab a bat and swing for the fences.

LESSON #5: Believe in yourself and commit to your dream

I think this is far and away the MOST important attribute for anyone competing on Survivor or pursuing a Big Goal in life, especially if the odds seem stacked against them. After spending a grueling 39 days with little food, lots of physical challenges and exposure to the elements, you would expect everyone to be mentally, emotionally and physically depleted and ready to quit. But the winners NEVER give in to fatigue or give up when the odds seem stacked against them.

At that point, their competition realizes they are a threat and are looking for an opportunity to vote them out. The future winners know that, but they don’t let it rattle them.  They focus on the final Immunity Challenge like it is the ONLY thing that matters, and they usually win it. They dig down deep, believe in themselves and never, ever consider quitting.  When you have obstacles in your path and not a lot of support from the outside world, you have to decide if you are going to stay 100% committed to your Big Goal or are going to fold.  Winners play to the very end.

P.S. Don’t think that failure never happens to Survivor winners. It absolutely does…just like it does to all of us in real life.  Many of the Fan Favorites have to play the grueling game two or three different seasons, often years apart, before they ultimately win. But they learn something about themselves and how to play the game each time. Then they regroup and start fresh, applying that hard-won knowledge until they reach their ultimate goal of becoming the Sole Survivor.  And how super-sweet that triumph is!

If you or your friends would like your own F*R*E*E* subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* hour of phone coaching that will help you clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com today.

 

August 23, 2020

“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” – Dennis Kimbro

“A young man told me: ‘I don’t want to expect too much.  That way if it doesn’t happen, I won’t go to bed all disappointed.’ That’s no way to live.  If you’re not expecting increase, promotion or good breaks, you’re not releasing your faith….If you expect a break and it doesn’t happen, don’t go to bed disappointed.  Go to bed knowing you’re one day closer to seeing it come to pass. Get up the next morning and do it again.” – Joel Osteen

We all face challenges every single day.  Right now, we’re facing more personal and societal challenges all at once than most of us have seen in a whole lifetime.  All our normal routines and plans have been upended.

Reading the newspaper each morning, I can feel pretty overwhelmed and disheartened about the state of the world. That’s why I always balance my “getting informed” time with spending 30 to 60 minutes reading inspiring books, praying and gratitude journaling. I make sure all my coaching clients do this morning practice, too. It helps us re-focus on our GOALS, not our FEARS, and set our expectations to POSITIVE.

I have come to believe that the number one trait of successful people is FAITH and the number two trait is PERSISTENCE. You can’t really have one without the other.  You can’t persevere in the face of seemingly hopeless adversity unless you have faith that a Higher Power is on your side and working on leading you to a good outcome. And you can’t give up when things look hopeless if you truly have faith in a Higher Power who wants you to succeed.

Since COVID-19 took hold in March, my husband and I have faced our share of financial challenges.  We have been fortunate that I still have a fair income from coaching (although not at the level I was used to), and he was able to get enhanced unemployment benefits for a few months when real estate temporarily ground to a halt.  Each day, we had to get up and persevere, without having a clue what lay ahead.

I know that God/The Universe has been our ally before and will be now.  I had a chance to prove it to myself in a big way recently, which showed me that if one door slams in my face, I can follow my Divine guidance to the open one that will get me where I need to go.

If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you will remember that I had to have a LOT of patience and determination in dealing with Experian, one of the big three credit reporting agencies.

As I wrote in “Stand Still – Blog 374,” for several days in June, I spent hours patiently and persistently navigating a maze of recorded phone messages and “call this other person” hand-offs. I was referred by a collections agency to a childcare provider, who then referred me to Experian (where I had originally started my dispute), in order to convince them that an $800 unpaid childcare bill “derogatory” that popped up on my otherwise pristine credit report wasn’t really MINE. I am well past childcare age, and I don’t live in Minnesota, where the collection originated, but as I learned, facts and logic mean nothing in the world of credit reporting.

At the time, I knew I needed a clean credit report because we had applied for a Small Business Administration loan that could greatly help us with our business expenses during the months to come, especially knowing the enhanced unemployment benefits Rick was receiving would soon run out.

It took a LOT of faith, persistence and positive expectation on my part to unwind that tangle.  I cannot tell you how sweet the moment was when I FINALLY reached a real, live person at Experian who said to me, “I am looking at your report right now and the name on this collection isn’t YOURS.  I am going to make sure this gets deleted from your credit report immediately!” The next day, my Experian credit score had increased by 25 points!

But once the report was clear, that was just the start of my long, winding journey into an even greater tangle of bureaucracy at the SBA.  After not hearing a peep from them for two full months after we applied, I got a “first step” email out of the blue, asking for a few more details from us.  Two hours after I typed my answers into the online template, I got a great big “APPLICATION DENIED” message back from the SBA, with no explanation.  It said I could submit an online request to be reconsidered, but without knowing why I was denied, that wasn’t a viable option.

I have to be honest, that was my lowest point emotionally.  I was running out of patience and emotional stamina and my faith was getting a little shaky too.

The next morning, I had a heart-to-heart Gratitude Formula Journaling session with God, asking Him to PLEASE make it crystal clear if I was supposed to pursue the SBA loan or if I was being directed to some better option — because this particular door seemed to be nailed shut.

I didn’t get any immediate clear urges, intuition or other “signs” as May McCarthy calls them in her wonderful Gratitude Formula book.  But I am proud to say that I didn’t panic or throw in the towel.  I just “got up the next morning and did it again,” just as Joel Osteen advises.

About a week later, my accountant emailed to ask if I had heard any more on the SBA loan denial because the final deadline for applications was fast approaching.  For some reason, her question lit a fire down in me that rekindled my persistence and determination!

I had a phone number for the SBA and right then, I picked up the phone and called it.  I was only on hold for about 15 minutes when a real, live agent answered.  While I was waiting, I had been visualizing who I wanted to answer:  Someone understanding, smart, knowledgeable, on my side, who could tell me exactly what to do to get the ball rolling again.

And that’s exactly who I got! She said there must have been a glitch in the system because there was no reason for denial at that stage.  She was going to send my application back into the system and promised that I should be hearing from someone soon.

Two days later, I got a personal email from a very nice loan processing subcontractor who was going to personally handle our application. It was so easy from there!

In four days, we were funded for FAR more than the amount I planned to ask for. (The SBA never asked how much we wanted; they just approved us for an amazingly large sum.)  We received the money at the absolute perfect time to meet our needs. All our business taxes and bills have been covered, and we still have most of the money sitting in the bank, in case we need it.  We have six months to decide whether to use more of it or send back the unused portion.  Whatever we do use, we can repay at 3% interest for up to 30 years!

Lately, we have seen a stream of wonderful new clients coming to both Rick and me, and we no longer have any stress or worry about how we will survive this challenging time.  I give ALL credit to God’s unfailing guidance and to myself for having faith AND for persisting, no matter what.

It is said that “dreams delayed are not dreams denied.”  I know this to be true. We just have to get up tomorrow morning and pursue them for one more day, and have faith that they will be fulfilled when the time is right.

If you or your friends would like your own F*R*E*E* subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* hour of phone coaching that will help you clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com today.

June 7, 2020

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14 RSV

A daily inspirational post I was reading last week added this perspective to the above Bible quote: “Relax. Stand firm, knowing that with God in charge, all will work out for the highest and best good of all concerned.”

Contemplating this, I had a sudden flash of insight about how to solve a frustrating situation I had been grappling with for over a month. I had tried to solve it by my own brainpower, to no avail.

Thanks to these wise words, I remembered to take a breath, focus my energy on being open and receptive and then take the problem to a much Bigger Mind for the answer.  The process for doing that is something I have written about before in this blog and a tool that I use on a daily basis.  In fact, I am so thrilled with the results my clients and I have gotten by using it, I will be sharing it with all my New Success Membership subscribers beginning this summer.

This simple, fool-proof tool is called The Gratitude Formula, and is described by May McCarthy in her wonderful book of the same name.  I wanted to share with you my recent clear example of how well it works on ALL problems and with ALL personal and business goals, big or small. Here’s how it worked for me:

A little over a month ago, I got a notification that a “derogatory” item had been posted on my credit report by Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies.  It claimed that I owed a childcare provider in Minnesota over $800. The debt had been turned over to a collections agency because it was two months past due. That would be a pretty strange debt for me, since I am well past child-rearing age and I live in California!

On top of the inconvenience, this mistake could have serious financial consequences, as I was in the process of applying for a small business loan, and this one item on my otherwise pristine record was the worst possible type of derogatory report for a lender to see: non-payment of a debt.

My Ego’s first reaction was righteous anger and “Why ME, why NOW?” Fortunately, my coaching training got me down off that ledge pretty quickly.  As I teach my clients, the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) can work FOR or AGAINST you. If you respond to adversity with negative thoughts and emotions, your negative energy is only going to attract to you MORE negative outcomes.

I quickly released ALL negative thoughts and feelings and declared (and truly felt) that I forgave whichever overworked employee at the collections agency had made this unintentional error.  I soon shifted into feeling poised and confident that all would be straightened out before the lender pulled my credit report.

Since it was so patently illogical, I thought it would be pretty easy to prove that this was somebody else’s debt that had been placed on my report, perhaps due to our names or our social security numbers being similar.  I was confident that I could take care of this myself and filed a dispute online with Experian.

Off to a good start, Experian emailed a quick response, saying my dispute had been opened and giving me the case number and a few details, including the name and contact number for the collection agency, also in Minnesota, that was trying to collect the debt on behalf of its client, KinderCare. But while I waited for Experian to officially clear things up, I decided to try to speed things along by contacting the collection agency myself.

The collection agency employee looked up my name (every spelling we could think of), past names and my social security number.  None of my information was in their system.  I pointed out that if I was not in there, this could not possibly be MY debt.  I thought I was home free! Alas, it wasn’t that simple. The collection agency said there was nothing they could do, aside from letting Experian go through the proper channels to remove it from my report.

OK, it looked like all I could do was be patient.  I worked hard on having a positive expectation that all would be well and have no negative effect on me financially.

Finally, after several weeks, I got the long-awaited email from Experian stating that my dispute had been investigated and a resolution had been reached.  When I read the rest of the email, my heart sank: Experian had “checked” with the collections agency and the information on me had been “verified” so they were leaving the negative item on my report! I was in shock but I wasn’t going to give up without a fight!

The next morning during my personal growth reading time, I came across the “stand still and let God fight your battles” thought. It was exactly what I needed to hear!

I realized that, while I had been thinking positive thoughts that MY way of handling this problem was going to take care of everything, that wasn’t the same as turning it over to a Higher Wisdom to guide me to the ideal solution. I firmly believe that, even when we can’t see any possible solution from our limited human perspective, God/The Universe always has one.  I had just forgotten to ASK!

So, I got out my Gratitude Formula Journal and I wrote to God for guidance on how to proceed. (May McCarthy makes it clear that in using this system, we each work with our own personal belief about who our ultimate advisor is. Mine is God, but yours might be something or someone else you believe in. You do not have to be religious to use it.)

I began by listing and expressing heartfelt thanks for the many, many GOOD things in my life. It is so easy to fall into negative energy when we are focusing on our few troubles, and ignoring all the many blessings our life is awash in. That’s why you start your daily letter by thanking your Ultimate Advisor for what and who you ALREADY have in your life that you love.

Next, the Gratitude Formula tells us to express gratitude IN ADVANCE for the guidance we are going to get to create what we want but don’t yet have.  I wrote, “Dear God, I am so grateful that You are now leading me to exactly the right people who will quickly and easily help me to straighten out this mix up and restore my credit to its rightful state. Thank You!”

According to the Gratitude Formula, after you ask for what you want and express gratitude in advance, you just have to “stand still” and stay open to receive the answer in whatever way and timing it comes, often as an inspired idea that bubbles up from your own subconscious mind.  After signing my letter to God, I felt a peace and belief at a much deeper level that the perfect solution would soon appear and all would be well.

The idea suddenly came to me a short time later to call the collections agency again, but this time to give them ALL the information I had, including the partial account number for the person who owed the debt to KinderCare.  That partial account number turned into the magic key that began opening the solutions box!  The collections agency couldn’t help further, but gave me the phone number for KinderCare’s internal collections department, which I had no way of getting before, to see if they could figure it out.

Without the complete account number, a nice KinderCare employee could not find any clues as to the identity of the debtor, but she also gave me a special secret number for the collections agency’s internal Department of Consumer Affairs.  Back to collections, but NOW, I was actually getting somewhere!

The woman at collections was also helpful, but could not find the full account number in her system.  She suggested I call Experian and see if they would give me the FULL account number of the KinderCare client. Then she gave me another special secret number where I could actually talk to a LIVE employee in the Experian Dispute Department!

A very nice employee at Experian pulled up my credit report and asked me to again verify my name and social and some other identifying information.  In two minutes, she said, “Well, I am looking at the name of the person who owes this collections debt and it’s NOT you — Not even close to your name or social!  It clearly got put on your report by mistake. I am fixing this right now and a copy of your corrected credit report should show up in your inbox soon.”

In less than ONE hour, Experian emailed me my corrected report and my credit score had risen 25 points. Hallelujah!

I am forever grateful that the Divine HOW is always presented to us exactly when we need it, to help us solve any problem or reach any desired goal.  We just need to know how to ASK, BELIEVE and be open to RECEIVE it when it comes!

P.S. Please keep an eye on YOUR inbox for a special message in the coming days about the New Success Membership program that will be launching this summer to teach you EVERYTHING you need to know in order to master the Law of Attraction, The Gratitude Formula and some other great tools for reliably connecting to your own Divine Guidance that can lead YOU to easier, faster and greater success in your career, business, finances, health and relationships. We will be welcoming Founding Members at a VERY SPECIAL PRICE when registration opens for a limited in just a few weeks!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

I want to be of service to YOU and your friends, colleagues and loved ones, especially now! To schedule a NO-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com

May 3, 2020

“Not every closed door is a bad thing.  If God had not shut that door, we would have been satisfied to stay where we were….God knows we won’t move forward without a push.  You have too much potential, too much talent, too much in you to get stuck where you are.  He’ll put you in situations that make you stretch, make you grow.” – Joel Osteen

As you know, I was planning to take a break from writing the blog this week.  But several events conspired to create a message I just HAD to deliver to you because maybe, like me, you find yourself in a difficult, uncomfortable situation right now.  Things were going fine, and now it feels like the rug has been pulled out from under your life plans and you don’t know what to do.

If that is the case, I encourage you to try to see your current challenge from a different perspective, as I have had to do.  Maybe getting shoved out of the comfort zone you were stuck in will turn into the greatest blessing you could ask for.  Maybe you are exactly where you need to be to step up to a whole new level of success, purpose and fulfillment.

I am not minimizing the devastating impact the current world-wide pandemic has had on innocent people.  Millions of lives have been disrupted in very severe ways – financially, socially and physically. Many doors have closed, but other doors have opened because of our disrupted familiar “normal.”  Sadly, many businesses have closed, but others have pivoted to entirely new ways of working and are thriving.

I coached one of my longtime clients this week, and marveled at her story of how her own long-term plans for her future were completely upended, yet she and her family are now unexpectedly thriving more than ever before.

A few years ago, she was methodically working her plan to gradually work her way out of her day job by building her side business in network marketing.  When we first started coaching, she was close to being able to quit and do her side business full-time.  Her Team was growing and she was eager to give her business her full attention.

Then the totally unexpected happened: She became a single parent and the sole support of her children.  Luckily, she got a great job offer that covered their financial needs, but she had to uproot her kids and move to a different state. Between the long hours she spent at her very demanding new job and helping her children adjust to their new life, she had little time or energy left to grow her business.

For a time, she valiantly tried to keep up our coaching, but it became more and more sporadic, as her boss often called impromptu meetings during our scheduled calls and traffic made her late getting home. Finally, her day job involved too much long-distance travel, and she had to put our coaching on hold for several months.

Still, she never gave up on her Big Goal.  She did what she could to support her Team, even though it was tiring and uncomfortable, but without her steady, energetic leadership, malaise set into the Team and growth slowed.

With her crazy schedule, it really surprised me when she enrolled in my spring webinar, the New Success Formula 2020, which ended just as the stay-at-home lockdown hit. She sometimes missed the live Zooms, but she always watched the replays and worked her way through the homework at her own pace.  After the course, she took me up on my offer for a free one-hour private session and told me she wanted to get back into coaching again.

I thought when COVID-19 reared its ugly head, things might get worse for her, but amazingly, they got a whole lot better.  On our most recent call, she told me she, her family and her network marketing business are all thriving.  Working from home, she can’t travel now, and her boss doesn’t make her late for our calls.  She is more productive, yet able to spend more time with her happy children and child care is no longer an issue. She has much more time to devote to the growth of her business, too.

Best of all, in a surprise move, her boss decided to let the staff work from home permanently. He ended a high-five-figure monthly lease and moved headquarters to a smaller office where the staff can gather once a week and hold client meetings whenever they need to.  The company is saving millions and staff morale and productivity are through the roof. Everyone is happy!

Now, her business Team is again growing by leaps and bounds, despite the pandemic.  Their products are as desirable as ever and they are more enthusiastic than ever about giving others the option to work from home while earning good incomes, too.

When my client told me, I don’t think any of this would have happened for me if I hadn’t taken your course, I was shocked. She explained that the course had gotten her to step off the hamster wheel she was stuck on and carve out some essential time for herself.  She began getting up before the kids each morning to do her Gratitude Formula journaling, which opened up a channel for direct, intuitive guidance from her Higher Power. That, in turn, built her confidence that the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) would soon lead her to the life of prosperity, purpose and joy that she has been seeking these past several years.

Every one of us can count on God/The Universe to guide us to our purposeful dreams, but we have to be willing to listen and then ACT on what we are guided to do, even if it is uncomfortable and takes us on a very different route than we had imagined.

I, too, am about to embark on a whole new career path than I had always envisioned.  In my 16 years as a Personal Success Coach, I have always preferred private coaching, feeling I can best serve my clients by getting to know them well and working closely with them individually for a few months.  But now, I am seeing the limitations of this model, as no new clients have come on board since the country went into lock down, and my income has been drastically affected.

My client’s impromptu testimonial really opened my eyes to the great impact my group coaching courses can have on individuals by teaching them to use simple, proven Law of Attraction tools to reach any Big Goal with speed and ease.

While I can make a bigger difference by teaching MORE people with online courses,  there are drawbacks. Webinars are low-cost, but some people cannot afford even the modest up-front fee I charge.  The live Zoom calls can’t be at a time that works for everyone, and the weekly lesson pace can be too fast for some.  If they fall behind, they tend to never finish the replays and homework that will get them to their Big Goals. 

I put in a LOT of time into designing each course and marketing it, on top of keeping up with my private coaching clients’ needs.  I make the extra effort because I want to teach MORE people the same invaluable Law of Attraction tools that helped this client, but if they don’t finish, they won’t succeed, and that is not the result I want for them!

So, for the past several months, I have been using my daily morning Gratitude Formula journaling to ask God to guide me to better way to reach MORE people, make it MORE affordable, and give them ONGOING support to implement what they learn like I am able to give my private coaching clients – but without imposing a heavier workload on myself.

Two weeks ago, out of the blue, I discovered a way to help many MORE people reach their Big Goals without sacrificing the swift progress of private coaching.  I believe it is the PERFECT Win-Win solution that is low cost, self-paced, interactive, open-ended and delivers exactly the information and support my clients need to get fast results, yet puts minimal burdens on my time, all while giving me much more stable income potential.  I would never have sought or found this solution if I had been able to stay in my familiar private coaching comfort zone.

In my next blog, I will tell you the story of how this surprising answer was delivered to me and I think you will agree it was a perfect little miracle!  (You just may want to jump on board with it yourself, or tell your Team and loved ones about it so they can take advantage.)  I can hardly wait!

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*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

I want to be of service to YOU and your friends, colleagues and loved ones, especially now! To schedule a NO-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com